Hakata Light Up Walk : The main draw of this attraction is the illumination



Hakata is a district located in Fukuoka, home to many government, retail and commercial buildings, also known for its entertainment offerings. It is a cool place to hang out or catch up with friends and family, great dining options a plenty.

About Hakata:

Since 2006 the Hakata light up walk has been held annually in Hakata, with over 120,000 visitors in 2017, and this event has been growing in size and popularity as each year passes. The main draw of this attraction is the illumination of historic buildings, temples, a pagoda, gardens, which all beautifully lit up for 5 days in November. (dates change annually)

What can you do?:

Buildings and areas that are usually closed off from the public are now open for visitors to enjoy, in 2017 there were no fewer than 13 points of interest (which 3 had free entry) but this number is likely to change as the Light Up Walk is based on a different theme each year. Be sure to check out online closer to the time for the event dates and general information.
Free guidebooks are also offered with tickets purchased.

Due to the popularity of the event queues are inevitable; visiting all points of interest may not be possible in one day so please plane your visit before arriving. The 2 main temples can have a waiting time of anywhere up to 2 hours so please be prepared, even the not so popular areas can have lengthy queues… but it’s all worth the wait.

What is popular spots?:

The most popular spot has to be Jyotennji (承天寺), to avoid long queues we recommend arriving before 17:30 and visiting this temple first. The temple itself is surrounded by beautiful gardens and colourfully illuminated trees. There is also a night market that’s not to be missed; food stands serving Udon, Soba and much other Japanese traditional street food can be found. The night market also has “Hakataori” for sale, Hakataori is a locally produced fabric with traditional Japanese designs, usually used to make accessories such as bags, purses etc.

Also very popular is Tochyoji (東長寺), here you will find the pagoda and also the biggest wooden buddha in the whole of Japan, taking carpenters 4 years to complete, weighing a staggering 30,000kg and reaching a height of nearly 11 meters.

An area that is free to enter called Kushidajinjya (櫛田神社) which is a shrine. In the shrine yard there is a symbolic gingko tree where at the base you will find 2 monumental tablets from the Mongolian invasion. You will also find a night market (17:00-21:00) with food stands serving the usual karaage (fried chicken), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) and delicious Hakata street food. Here there is also a stage set up where you can enjoy traditional Japanese dancing and J-pop.

If you have ever fancied wearing a kimono then this event was better to give it a try, there is even shops where you can rent a kimono for a day. With the illuminations in the background you will have photo opportunities like no other… Selfie time!

A couple of temples will be offering Gosyuin (which translates red ink stamp). For a small fee the temple will write down the name of the temple and the date in Japanese calligraphy and then red stamp it with the temples emblem, many people collect Gosyuin, and they make for a lovely piece of wall art once framed.

If you have purchased a ticket you will receive a discount voucher for many restaurants surrounding the shrine.
So, if you’re nearby during the month of November then please come and enjoy the beautiful Hakata Light Up Walk, there’s so much to see and do and so much food to try!


Date: in November but varies annually
Time: 17:30 – 21:00 (last entry until 20:45)
Access: 10min walk from Hakata station
Fee: pre booked 1000 yen, on the day 1500yen (some areas you can enjoy for free)

Fore those who wants to enjoy autumn leaves…

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In Fukuoka on Golden Week?

If you are in Fukuoka during Golden Week in the beginning of May, you must see the most popular traditional festival of Kyushu – Hakata Dontaku Festival! It has over 830 years of history. And is one of the most famous festivals in the region indeed. It gathers more than 2 million people every year. Come and enjoy watching colorful festival cars, delicious local food and of course dancing with locals! For more information on Hakata Dontaku Festival, please click on the link below.



I now live in England but originally from Hiroshima and also I’ve lived in Germany for one year.

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